As published in the May 2008 issue of Vitality Magazine
Madeline, a middle-aged woman diagnosed with mild depression, felt worse during the winter months. It started with the anticipation of the obligatory family get-togethers during Christmas.
She grew up in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic and abusive father. Christmas was a time when the old feelings of shame and guilt resurfaced, causing anxiety and depression to dominate her existence. By the time she got through the holidays, the cold weather made her become reclusive. She found it difficult to keep warm, and as a result turned down invitations and isolated herself, leaving her apartment only for work and other basics.
The progression of winter corresponded with Mad¬eline’s downward spiral with depression. She suffered from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The limited sunlight during the winter months contributed to her feelings of anxiety and depression.
One year she tried anti-depressants to alleviate the awful feeling she described as “feeling insignificant.” Within three months she had to stop taking the drug as it made her feel “numb” and gave rise to unwanted side effects.
On a friend’s recommendation, Mad¬eline decided to try homeopathy and she came to my clinic.
After an extensive intake interview with Madeline, I selected the homeopathic remedy Carbo Vegetabilis based on her mental-emotional outlook and physical symptoms combined.
With¬in four weeks of starting the homeopathic regime, Mad¬eline reported feeling hopeful. When I asked her how she felt about the season’s absence of sunlight, she smiled and told me she hadn’t even thought about it. Mad¬eline now had increased energy, was going out more, and enjoyed longer hours of sleep.
Within six months, Mad¬eline was feeling significantly better. She was especially happy to report feeling emotionally stronger during the recent holiday season.
Depression is an affliction characterized by many signs and symptoms. People diagnosed with depression can have a few or several of the following: feelings of sadness, fatigue or lethargy, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, inability to concentrate, difficulty making decisions, significant weight loss or gain, disturbed sleep or too much sleep, loss of interest in activities, low libido, anxiety and restlessness, feeling anti-social, aggressive behaviour, and persistent thoughts or talk of suicide.
When did your depression begin, and what was going on in your life at that time? This is one of the first questions your homeopath will ask when you’re seeking help for depression.
The answers are as diverse and colourful as the patients themselves. Perhaps you have felt depressed all your life due to hereditary factors. Maybe it began after a major and traumatic event in your life, such as divorce, abuse, death of a loved one, or loss of employment. Or possibly you became depressed as a result of hormonal imbalance, which is common during puberty, after childbirth, and during menopause.
The answer to the origins of your depression provides an important clue to finding your individual homeopathic remedy. At the same time, regardless of the triggering event of your depression, homeopathy can help you get unblocked, turn the corner, and set you on the path to recovery.
Homeopathy is a medical science based on the law of similars. Simply explained, this means any substance capable of promoting symptoms (or disease) is also capable of curing the same, when taken in infinitesimal or homeopathic doses. The homeopathic approach to curing depression is no different. After listening to your story, your unique symptoms, and circumstances, a homeopath will give you a substance that is capable of producing feelings of depression in a non-depressed person.
There are well over 3,000 homeopathic remedies to choose from. Treatment of any condition is based on the totality of symptoms expressed by the individual. Therefore, in homeopathy we cannot assign remedies to specific disease labels. Instead, the remedies are unique to individuals. Each individual suffering from depression expresses it quite differently; with different feelings, behaviours, and symptoms. As a result, 10 people diagnosed with depression will likely receive 10 different homeopathic remedies.
After taking the indicated homeopathic remedy, patients start noticing changes within a few hours to several days. Most people experience increased energy and motivation. This becomes the catalyst for positive changes in their lives. I have had numerous patients tell me that they cleaned out their garage or the entire house after taking a homeopathic remedy; a symbolic expression of cleansing. People adopt a more positive outlook on life and begin engaging in their favourite activities once again.
The length of time needed to cure depression (or any disease) depends on the severity and the length of time you’ve had it. So it is not realistic for your homeopath to assess how long treatment should take until your response to the remedies becomes apparent over a period of time. While long-standing conditions may take months or years to heal, there will be improvement quite soon. Conversely, an acute condition such as a sprained swollen ankle can be healed within 30 minutes with the remedy Arnica (as just one example).
It is important for me to emphasize that sadness is a normal part of life. It is a healthy response to losing a loved one, separating from a spouse, or feeling betrayed by a trusted friend. What may be a problem is identifying sadness as wrong and suppressing it with anti-depressant drugs. These drugs drive the depression deeper into the organism, never addressing the origins of the strong emotions. The body’s natural healing response becomes stuck, and the depression bottled up inside. This stagnation gives rise to side-effects as well as other health complications down the road, worthy of a whole other article.
Here is one worth mentioning – a recent must-read article in which a top US psychiatrist goes on the record to acknowledge the connection between gun violence / mass killings and children being prescribed SSRI drugs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). Read the article at http://bit.ly/Wpe6GQ
Homeopathic medicine enhances and accelerates the expression of grief and sadness, helping one move through the process of depression with more ease. One example is the remedy Ignatia Iamara, which is known for its quick relief of acute grief. I prescribed this remedy for a patient whose young nephew had died in a car accident. She reported feeling “emotionally stronger and more at ease” while dealing with the grief.
Homeopathy can heal your life. Not only can the correct homeopathic remedy restore your health and eliminate depression, but continued treatment with homeopathic remedies can even eliminate inherent weaknesses and predisposition to disease. If eliminating the root cause of your depression is your goal, then homeopathy is your medicine of choice.
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